New Year’s #sophoscrossword 2013/2014: And the winners are…


Well done to everyone who tried the New Year’s #sophoscrossword for 2013/2014!

And very well done to the 54 people who submitted correct solutions by the deadline.

You’ll find the full leaderboard below.

But first, here’s what the finished grid was supposed to look like:

To give you a bit more detail, here are the clues and their corresponding answers.

If you tried the puzzle this time and struggled with some of the clues, this will give you some insight that will be (OK, that may be) be of assistance next time:


Sets aren't (7) = ORDERED
Switches have them (5) = CASES
Proof you mined a Bitcoin (3,5,5) = SHA BLOCK CHAIN
It's 160 at 7, 140 at 8 and 70 at 16 (3) = SMS
Data dropped for being naughty (3,6) = BAD PACKET
Sophos Anti-Virus has a blue one (6) = SHIELD
Where the punchcards go (6) = READER
Sets are (9) = UNORDERED
Definite hacker article (3) = TEH
Adi Shamir finds it acoustically (3,7,3) = RSA PRIVATE KEY
What Pirate Roberts is facing now (5) = DREAD
Synths from Osaka (7) = ROLANDS


8-bit multiuser OS - on a Z80! (5) = OASIS
Analog computers have them (5) = DIALS
Tidied up your GOTOs (9) = RELABELED
Unbase64, for instance (6) = DECODE
Polynomial division to catch errors (3) = CRC 
PUSHed a bunch of data words (7) = STACKED
Al Gore, internet proselytiser, was one (7) = SENATOR
The evidence for many optimisations (9) = ANECDOTAL
Bubble sort time versus size (7) = SQUARED
Put on the other side of an air gap (7) = ISOLATE
It's in charge of your hardware (6) = DRIVER
You get one when you login (5) = TOKEN
Command set that demands attention (5) = HAYES
The colour of a Sophos VPN (3) = RED

We have two winners: the fastest to finish, and a randomly selected finisher from the rest.

Our fastest solver was: Ross Younger, of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Our random winner styled him or herself: k3p13 of California, USA.


Here’s the list of all 54 solvers:

And, because a few of you emailed us to say you were looking forward to seeing where the solvers came from, here’s a leaderboard showing the number of solvers from each country:

By the way, a number of readers sent us messages to say that they loved the look of the prize shirts, and that they’d buy them if we put them for sale on the web.

We hear you!

No promises, but we’re hoping to make some cool Sophos and Naked Security merchandise available online sometime soon.

If we go for it, we’ll definitely do T-shirts; when we (half jokingly) suggested mugs as well, we got a couple of big “Yes pleases,” so there may yet be Naked Security crockery, too!

→ If you’re one of the people who’d like to see Naked Security merch, let us know in the comments, and tell us the sort of products you’d like to see. While you’re about it, please let us know what your favourite T-shirt colour scheme is. We’re a bit old school, so we think that techie shirts really ought to be white-on-black. No choices. But we made our recent AusCERT 2013 puzzle shirts in black-on-grey as an experiment, and they looked super-cool. What do you think?

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